LONDON 21 MARCH 2001 — BBC Worldwide and Universal Music International (the biggest music company in the world) have entered into a long-term strategic alliance to increase distribution and marketing of the BBC’s growing portfolio of children’s music properties.

Working together, the two organisations will market existing BBC Children’s records, such as Bob the Builder and Tweenies, (both huge UK hits for BBC Worldwide last year), around the world (excluding North America and UK), and develop new opportunities based on major BBC brands to create a broad portfolio. Where appropriate local language versions of the records will be created.

Rupert Gavin, Chief Executive BBC Worldwide, said: “Universal Music is a great partner for us to develop BBC Children’s records – one of the most dynamic music propositions – to a wide international audience. This relationship will allow us to build on the great success we have enjoyed to date with these exciting properties and to maximise our overall cross-media activities on our children’s brands.”

Graham Samuels, Marketing Director BBC Music added: “We’re bringing together the perfect combination – the credibility and recognition of the BBC, the brand management expertise of BBC Worldwide, and the international marketing and distribution experience of Universal Music International. This new agreement will enable us to develop further our children’s brand portfolio to increase its profile and longevity around the world.”

Wolf Urban, Senior Vice President UM3 (Universal’s strategic marketing arm) said: “This is a great strategic alliance between two prestigious brands. We are looking forward to working with BBC Worldwide to break into the pre-teen market with music these young consumers really want to hear.”

As part of the agreement, the two organisations will develop A&R and creative links in the UK through the Universal Music UK group.

Lucian Grainge, Deputy Chairman, Universal Music said; “We like hit records and hit songs and we will do everything we can to help broaden these music properties from an A&R and production viewpoint.”

BBC Music will continue to build on its success in the UK with its own label. At the end of last year the Tweenies single “no 1” spent nine weeks in the top ten, whilst Bob the Builder’s “Can We Fix It?” was the Christmas no 1 and became the biggest single of 2000.

Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. Its business also includes Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations. Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.

BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It was formed in 1994 to develop a co-ordinated approach to the BBC’s commercial activities and to ensure the BBC continues to develop as a leading player in the world media market.

BBC Music forms part of BBC Worldwide’s Global Marketing and Brand Development (GMBD) Division. GMBD was created to develop key BBC properties with genuine cross media as global brands across Factual, Children’s, Music, Entertainment and Drama. GMBD works closely with the other divisions of BBC Worldwide and BBC Television.